Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification earlier this month reminding TV channels of a complete ban on Indian content.
The authority made it clear that the ban applies on everything from clips, promos, news reports, songs, promotion of Indian actors, political discussion, advertisement, and analysis.
The authority issued another notification on August 14, prohibiting the broadcast of advertisements produced in India or featuring Indian actors and talent in view of the human rights violations by India in Kashmir and its ongoing tensions with Pakistan.
Raids on Cable Network
While reminding the TV channels about the ban, the authority is also taking action against the violators. It issued show-cause notices to two cable networks named Wah and Ocean cable networks, for airing Indian content.
The authority also raided different cable networks’ offices in several cities. It confiscated illegal Indian DTH receivers, transmitters, computers, and other equipment of New Star Cable Network, Inn Cable Network, Magic Cable Network, Malik Cable Network, Sameer Cable Network, and Vision Multimedia for airing the banned channels and content in Lahore.
The authority also confiscated three receivers from M/S Raja Cable TV Network in Quetta. It also confiscated the equipment of several cable operators in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in another operation. In Karachi, the authority seized transmitters, two computers, and digital boxes for relaying Indian channels.
The enforcement team of PEMRA’s sub-office in Sargodha also raided several cable networks and confiscated the equipment of Five Star Cable Network and Pakistan Cable Network.
In another raid in Lahore, the authority’s enforcement team seized the equipment of Fortune Marketing Cable for relaying Indian channels and content through the operator’s loop holder. The authority also conducted raids on several cable networks in Bahawalpur and confiscated their equipment.
The Islamabad team of PEMRA recently confiscated the equipment of Arbaz Cable Network, Kallar Saidan, Sky Link Cable Network, Kahutta, Star Cable Network and Kokhar Cable Network, Gujar Khan.
Chairman PEMRA, Muhammad Saleem Baig, has visited different cities to check whether PEMRA’s ban is being implemented or not. He held a meeting with the cable TV operators of Gujranwala region and warned them that there is zero tolerance for Indian channels and content.
He also visited PEMRA’s regional office in Sargodha and Faisalabad to ensure that due action is being taken against the violators. He also met with several cable operators and instructed them to follow the ban.
The authority also warned to shut down the networks in case of further violations. PEMRA is also mulling to register an FIR and impose heavy fines on the cable operators over the violation.
Apart from conducting the raids on a daily basis, the authority is also watching over the TV channels. On August 18, PEMRA issued a show-cause notice to Hum News for inviting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its program, ‘Breaking Point with Malik’. It sought a reply from the channel within three days.
It sent another show-cause notice to ARY News on Aug. 21, for inviting an Indian journalist in its show ‘Bakhabar Sawera’, who also made several anti-Pakistan remarks.
Just a day ago, the authority issued a notice to ‘Jalwa’ TV channel over airing Indian content, giving them seven days to submit a reply.